World Economic Forum opens in Davos

World Economic Forum opens in Davos

The World Economic Forum, which annually brings together leading representatives of political and business elites, will open in the Swiss ski resort of Davos today.

According to organizers, its main theme is the beginning of the fourth industrial revolution, however, the participants will also discuss a number of pressing political and economic issues, including the unprecedented drop in oil prices, the lifting of sanctions against Iran and the terrorist threat. 

"The fourth industrial revolution is a fusion of technologies across the physical, digital and biological worlds, creating entirely new capabilities and dramatic impacts on political, social and economic systems," the founder of the forum and its chairman, Professor Klaus Schwab, said.

More than 40 heads of state and government, including the presidents of Germany, Switzerland, Afghanistan, South Africa and Mexico and the prime ministers of Britain, France, Greece, Canada and Argentina will take part in the forum this year. Representatives of more than 100 countries are expected to arrive in Davos.

The head of the Russian delegation, Deputy Prime Minister Yury Trutnev, plans to brief about investment opportunities in Russia, above all in the Far East, and to meet with businessmen from Japan, India and European countries. Russia is represented in Davos by about 70 people this year. Among them are owner of the Rusal aluminium company Oleg Deripaska, the head of the Novatek natural gas producer Leonid Mikhelson, CEOs of Sberbank and VTB German Gref and Andrei Kostin. The chairperson of Russia’s Central Bank Elvira Nabiullina will take part in the discussion on the dilemma of the global debt burden, TASS reports.

An advisor on macroeconomics, the director general of the brokerage house ‘Opening’, Sergei Hestanov, in an interview to Vestnik Kavkaza said that "three main themes will be discussed at the forum". "The first one is the global theme, which concerns a deceleration in global economic growth. The World Bank has emphasized the fact that, unfortunately, world economic growth is slower than expected. The second theme is the problem of migrants, because the European Union was absolutely not ready for it. And the third problem is the slowing of Chinese economic growth. The growth rate of the Chinese economy inspires respect from many other countries, but it is clearly declining. Consequently, the reaction of the Asian region to the slowing of China is likely to be discussed in detail at the World Economic Forum in Davos," he said.

As for Russia, Sergei Hestanov noted that "most likely, it will be discussed in some local contexts only".

The head of the Department of Russian Foreign Policy in the National Security Faculty at RANEPA, Olga Abramova, said that the theme of a new industrial revolution was chosen deliberately. "Now we are entering a new scientific and technological cycle. Nanotechnology, robotics, new medical technologies, genetic engineering are the basis of the world economy. This is, in fact, a new industrial revolution," she said.

"The point is that those countries that will enter into a new technological world as leaders will be the strongest, most powerful and important countries in the world economy and international economic relations. Now there is competition between states, which includes China, focused on new medicine and new technologies," the expert expects.

According to her, the second main issue of the forum will be the problem of illegal migration and mechanisms for regulating migration flows. Abramova also drew attention to the connection between the issue of oil prices and the main theme of the forum. "Coal has been replaced by oil, then by natural gas. New technologies are replacing raw materials, alternative energy sources can replace natural energy resources," the head of the Department of Russian Foreign Policy in the National Security Faculty at RANEPA concluded.

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